Fall 2021

  • POSC 120: Democracy and Dictatorship

    An introduction to the array of different democratic and authoritarian political institutions in both developing and developed countries. We will also explore key issues in contemporary politics in countries around the world, such as nationalism and independence movements, revolution, regime change, state-making, and social movements. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Huan Gao, Juan Diego Prieto
  • POSC 122: Politics in America: Liberty and Equality

    An introduction to American government and politics. Focus on the Congress, Presidency, political parties and interest groups, the courts and the Constitution. Particular attention will be given to the public policy debates that divide liberals and conservatives and how these divisions are rooted in American political culture. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Richard Keiser, Christina Farhart, Brian Harrison
  • POSC 150: The Political Thought of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. & the American Civil Rights Movement

    What justifies self-defense and retaliation in defending civil rights and liberty? What moral reasoning and strategies offer alternatives to using physical violence in a social movement to gain civil rights? Our seminar examines the American Civil Rights Movement 1954 and 1968, and compares the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X to learn about nonviolent direct action, self-defense, and the use of “any means necessary” to right the wrongs of racial injustice.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Barbara Allen
  • POSC 160: Political Philosophy

    Introduction to ancient and modern political philosophy. We will investigate several fundamentally different approaches to the basic questions of politics–questions concerning the character of political life, the possibilities and limits of politics, justice, and the good society–and the philosophic presuppositions (concerning human nature and human flourishing) that underlie these, and all, political questions. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp, Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 170: International Relations and World Politics

    What are the foundational theories and practices of international relations and world politics? This course addresses topics of a geopolitical, commercial and ideological character as they relate to global systems including: great power politics, polycentricity, and international organizations. It also explores the dynamic intersection of world politics with war, terrorism, nuclear weapons, national security, human security, human rights, and the globalization of economic and social development. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Summer Forester, Tun Myint
  • POSC 218: Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States

    What can scholarship tell us about educational strategies to reduce achievement gaps and economic opportunity? Do the policies promoted at the city, state and federal levels reflect that knowledge? How are these policies made? What is the relationship between schools and the economic class, racial composition and housing stock of their neighborhoods? Prerequisites: Sophomore Standing 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021 · Richard Keiser
  • POSC 221: Latin American Politics

    Comparative study of political institutions and conflicts in selected Latin American countries. Attention is focused on general problems and patterns of development, with some emphasis on U.S.-Latin American relations. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Juan Diego Prieto
  • POSC 223: Political Science Lab: Content Analysis

    How do we know if a news organization is ideologically biased? How do we show that gender influences how world leaders approach defense policy? How do we track the growth in misinformation in political advertising worldwide? One foundational methodology for studying questions like these is content analysis. This course will enable you to analyze the texts of speeches, debates, news stories, tweets, press conferences, letters, ad texts–and the visual representations that accompany many of these forms of communication. Students will learn the basics of defining content, operationalizing variables, and conducting the analysis to get valid, reliable data.

    3 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Fall 2021 · Barbara Allen
  • POSC 223: Political Science Lab: Content Analysis

    How do we know if a news organization is ideologically biased? How do we show that gender influences how world leaders approach defense policy? How do we track the growth in misinformation in political advertising worldwide? One foundational methodology for studying questions like these is content analysis. This course will enable you to analyze the texts of speeches, debates, news stories, tweets, press conferences, letters, ad texts–and the visual representations that accompany many of these forms of communication. Students will learn the basics of defining content, operationalizing variables, and conducting the analysis to get valid, reliable data.

    3 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Fall 2021 · Barbara Allen
  • POSC 230: Methods of Political Research

    An introduction to research method, research design, and the analysis of political data. The course is intended to introduce students to the fundamentals of scientific inquiry as they are employed in the discipline. The course will consider the philosophy of scientific research generally, the philosophy of social science research, theory building and theory testing, the components of applied (quantitative and qualitative) research across the major sub-fields of political science, and basic methodological tools. Intended for majors only. Prerequisites: Statistics 120, 230, 250, (formerly Mathematics 215, 245, 275), AP Statistics (score of 4 or 5) or Psychology 200/201 or Sociology/Anthropology 239 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Christina Farhart, Greg Marfleet
  • POSC 252: Free Expression: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    Freedom of expression has never lacked obstacles or opponents, even if its opponents have often claimed to be friends. In recent years, however, both the possibility and the desirability of free expression have been openly contested on moral, political, and philosophic grounds. Is free expression simply good, or does it also impose costs? What is the relation between freedom of expression and freedom of thought or mind? Is freedom of mind even possible? These will be our questions. Readings will be drawn from philosophers ranging from Plato to Nietzsche and from political essayists such as George Orwell and Vaclav Havel.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Fall 2021 · Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 253: Welfare Capitalisms in Post-War Europe

    In this course students will explore the different kinds of welfare states that exist in Europe, the political economic and social conditions that made them possible and the debates about their strengths, weaknesses and prospects. We will review the so-called “varieties of capitalism” literature along with key welfare policies such as social insurance, health care, education, unemployment insurance, family and income support, and pensions. Welfare states use combinations of these policies differently to insure citizens against “old” and “new” risks. Finally, the course looks at how welfare regimes have responded of migration, financial, and public health crises.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Paul Petzschmann
  • POSC 264: Politics of Contemporary China

    This course examines the political, social, and economic transformation of China over the past century. Though contemporary issues are at the heart of the course, students will delve into an entire century of changes and upheaval to understand the roots of current affairs in China. Particular emphasis will be placed on state-building and how this has changed state-society relations at the grassroots. Students will also explore how the Chinese Communist Party has survived and even thrived while many other Communist regimes have fallen and assess the relationship between economic development and democratization.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Huan Gao
  • POSC 265: Public Policy and Global Capitalism

    This course provides a comprehensive introduction to comparative and international public policy. It examines major theories and approaches to public policy design and implementation in several major areas: international policy economy (including the study of international trade and monetary policy, financial regulation, and comparative welfare policy), global public health and comparative healthcare policy, institutional development (including democratic governance, accountability systems, and judicial reform), and environmental public policy.

    Prerequisites: Statistics 120 (formerly Mathematics 215) strongly recommended, or instructor permission 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Greg Marfleet
  • POSC 272: Constitutional Law II

    Covers American constitutional law and history from Reconstruction to the contemporary era. Extensive attention will be paid to the effort to refound the American constitution following the Civil War as manifest in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments, and to the successive transformations which the Supreme Court worked in the new constitutional order. Political Science 271 is not a prerequisite. 6 credits; Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2021 · Kimberly Smith
  • POSC 273: Race and Politics in the U.S.

    This course addresses race and ethnicity in U.S. politics. Following an introduction to historical, sociological, and psychological approaches to the study of race and ethnicity, we apply these approaches to understanding the ways in which racial attitudes have been structured along a number of political and policy dimensions, e.g., welfare, education, criminal justice. Students will gain an increased understanding of the multiple contexts that shape contemporary racial and ethnic politics and policies in the U.S., and will consider the role of institutional design, policy development, representation, and racial attitudes among the general U.S. public and political environment.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Christina Farhart
  • POSC 274: Globalization, Pandemics, and Human Security

    What are the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic on global politics and public policy? How do state responses to COVID-19 as well as historical cases such as the Black Death in Europe, the SARS outbreak in East Asia and Middle East, and the Ebola outbreak in Africa help us understand the scientific, political, and economic challenges of pandemics on countries and communities around the world? We will apply theories and concepts from IR, political economy, and natural sciences to explore these questions and consider what we can learn from those responses to address other global challenges like climate change.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Tun Myint
  • POSC 278: Memory and Politics

    Central to individual and collective identity, memory can be abused through the excess of commemoration. Is memory just a tool in the hands of nationalistic and divisive politics or can it be used for the cosmopolitan purpose of fighting oppression and injustice? To answer this question, we will read in this class literature on the nationalistic and cosmopolitan uses and abuses of memory and apply the theory to two case studies: the memory of the Jewish presence in Romanian society and politics and the role the memory of the Holocaust and Naqba plays in the relationship between Israel and Palestine.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 280: Feminist Security Studies

    Feminist security studies question and challenge traditional approaches to international relations and security, highlighting the myriad ways that state security practices can actually increase insecurity for many people. How and why does this security paradox exist and how do we escape it? In this class, we will explore the theoretical and analytical contributions of feminist security scholars and use these lessons to analyze a variety of policies, issues, and conflicts. The cases that we will cover include the UN resolution on women, peace, and security, Sweden’s feminist foreign policy, violence against women, and conflicts in Syria, Uganda, and Yemen.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Summer Forester
  • POSC 300: Political Research Experience

    This course is a collaborative, hands-on, research seminar related to a faculty member’s research program. Students should expect to meet regularly with the faculty supervisor and, depending on the stage or type of research, collect and analyze data, read and interpret primary literature and engage its criticism, submit written material and prepare presentation content. To enroll, students must complete the application form (available on line or in the department office) in consultation with the professor. 

    Prerequisites: Instructor Permission 1 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Barbara Allen, Greg Marfleet, Tun Myint, Huan Gao
  • POSC 307: Go Our Own Way: Autonomy in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement*

    “Every civil rights bill was passed for white people, not black people. I am a human being. I know … I have right(s). White people didn’t know that. … so [they] had to … to tell that white man, ‘he’s a human being, don’t stop him.’ That bill was for the white man…. I knew [my rights] all the time.” Stokely Carmichael spoke for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee viewpoint in 1966. The Black Panther Party enacted basic civic responsibilities in their programs. Ella Baker spoke of autonomy in community. This seminar brings voices across generations speaking to current affairs.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Barbara Allen
  • POSC 336: Global Populist Politics*

    Are populist politicians scoundrels or saviors? Regardless of the answer, populism is undeniably a growing force in politics around the world: in democracies as well as autocracies, rich and poor countries, and involving different ideologies. How can we understand this diversity? In this class, we will explore populism using a variety of comparative frameworks: temporal (situating the current crop of populism in historical context), ideological (comparing populisms of the left versus the right), as well as geographic. We will try to understand the hallmarks of populism, when and why it emerges, and its impact on political institutions and society.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Fall 2021 · Dev Gupta

Winter 2022

  • POSC 120: Democracy and Dictatorship

    An introduction to the array of different democratic and authoritarian political institutions in both developing and developed countries. We will also explore key issues in contemporary politics in countries around the world, such as nationalism and independence movements, revolution, regime change, state-making, and social movements. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Huan Gao, Juan Diego Prieto
  • POSC 122: Politics in America: Liberty and Equality

    An introduction to American government and politics. Focus on the Congress, Presidency, political parties and interest groups, the courts and the Constitution. Particular attention will be given to the public policy debates that divide liberals and conservatives and how these divisions are rooted in American political culture. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Richard Keiser, Christina Farhart, Brian Harrison
  • POSC 160: Political Philosophy

    Introduction to ancient and modern political philosophy. We will investigate several fundamentally different approaches to the basic questions of politics–questions concerning the character of political life, the possibilities and limits of politics, justice, and the good society–and the philosophic presuppositions (concerning human nature and human flourishing) that underlie these, and all, political questions. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp, Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 170: International Relations and World Politics

    What are the foundational theories and practices of international relations and world politics? This course addresses topics of a geopolitical, commercial and ideological character as they relate to global systems including: great power politics, polycentricity, and international organizations. It also explores the dynamic intersection of world politics with war, terrorism, nuclear weapons, national security, human security, human rights, and the globalization of economic and social development. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Summer Forester, Tun Myint
  • POSC 212: Environmental Justice

    The environmental justice movement seeks greater participation by marginalized communities in environmental policy, and equity in the distribution of environmental harms and benefits. This course will examine the meaning of “environmental justice,” the history of the movement, the empirical foundation for the movement’s claims, and specific policy questions. Our focus is the United States, but students will have the opportunity to research environmental justice in other countries. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Kimberly Smith
  • POSC 230: Methods of Political Research

    An introduction to research method, research design, and the analysis of political data. The course is intended to introduce students to the fundamentals of scientific inquiry as they are employed in the discipline. The course will consider the philosophy of scientific research generally, the philosophy of social science research, theory building and theory testing, the components of applied (quantitative and qualitative) research across the major sub-fields of political science, and basic methodological tools. Intended for majors only. Prerequisites: Statistics 120, 230, 250, (formerly Mathematics 215, 245, 275), AP Statistics (score of 4 or 5) or Psychology 200/201 or Sociology/Anthropology 239 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Christina Farhart, Greg Marfleet
  • POSC 235: The Endless War on Terror

    In the aftermath of 9/11, the U.S. launched the Global War on Terror to purportedly find, stop,and defeat every terrorist group with a global reach. Without question, the Global War on Terror has radically shaped everything from U.S. foreign policies and domestic institutions to civil liberties and pop culture. In this course, we will examine the events of 9/11 and then critically assess the immediate and long-term ramifications of the endless Global War on Terror on different states and communities around the world. While we will certainly spend time interrogating U.S. policies from the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, we will also examine reactions to those policies across both the global north and the global south.

    6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Summer Forester
  • POSC 238: Sport & Globalization London/Seville Pgm: Globalization and Development: Lessons from Int’l Football

    This course uses international football (soccer) as a lens to analyze topics in globalization, such as immigration and labor, inequality, foreign investment, trade in services, and intellectual property. Students will be presented with key debates in these areas and then use cases from international football as illustrations. Focusing on the two wealthiest leagues in Europe, the English Premier League and the Spanish Liga, students will address key issues in the study of globalization and development, and in doing so enhance their understanding of the world, sports, and sport’s place in the world. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Bob Carlson
  • POSC 247: Comparative Nationalism

    Nationalism is an ideology that political actors have frequently harnessed to support a wide variety of policies ranging from intensive economic development to genocide. But what is nationalism? Where does it come from? And what gives it such emotional and political power? This course investigates competing ideas about the sources of nationalism, its evolution, and its political uses in state building, legitimation, development, and war. We will consider both historic examples of nationalism, as well as contemporary cases drawn from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the United States.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Dev Gupta
  • POSC 249: From the International to the Global: Critical Theories of World Politics

    Why is the world divided territorially? Why are some states considered more powerful than others? What can be done about violent conflict? This course will introduce students with critical approaches to world politics that ask these and other big questions. Marxist, feminist, post-structuralist and post-colonial scholars have challenged classical approaches of thinking about the international in terms of states and power. They have also questioned the dominance of western conceptions of politics in the way political scientists view the world. In this course will read and debate their contributions and apply them to real cases. 

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Paul Petzschmann
  • POSC 250: Kings, Tyrants, Philosophers: Plato’s Republic

    Cross-listed with POSC 350. In this course we will read Plato’s Republic, perhaps the greatest and surely the most important work of political philosophy ever written. What are the deepest needs and the most powerful longings of human nature? Can they be fulfilled, and, if so, how? What are the deepest needs of society, and can they be fulfilled? What is the relation between individual happiness and societal well-being? Are they compatible or in conflict with one another? And where they are in conflict, what does justice require that we do? The Republic explores these questions in an imaginative and unforgettable way.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Winter 2022 · Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 255: Post-Modern Political Thought

    The thought and practice of the modern age have been found irredeemably oppressive, alienating, dehumanizing, and/or exhausted by a number of leading philosophic thinkers in recent years. In this course we will explore the critiques and alternative visions offered by a variety of post-modern thinkers, including Nietzsche (in many ways the first post-modern), Heidegger, Foucault, and Derrida. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Winter 2022 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 269: I Did My Own Research: Information and Political Division in America

    Many Americans sense that polarization makes governance harder; scholars argue that polarization can undermine democracy itself. How do we manage difficult problems in a polarized political era? Can we ever agree if we are so free to pursue information that only supports what we already believe? We examine group identity in American culture and how boundaries affect attitudes and behavior as well as information around policy disputes around incarceration/policing, free speech, LGBTQ rights, health care, elections, immigration, and more. Finally, we consider how to reduce unproductive polarization for a better America even when we don’t agree on what better entails.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Brian Harrison
  • POSC 288: Politics & Pub Policy in Washington DC Program: Politics and Public Policy in Washington DC

    Students will participate in a seminar centered around meetings with experts in areas of global and domestic politics and policy. Over the course of the term they will collaborate in groups to produce a presentation exploring the political dimensions of public policy with a focus on how problem identification, institutional capacity, and stakeholder interests combine to shape policy options. 

    Prerequisites: Mathematics 215, Statistics 120 or other statistics courses 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Greg Marfleet
  • POSC 293: Politics & Pub Policy in Washington DC Program: Global Conservation Internship

    All students will intern in the office of a legislator, executive agency, interest group, or media outlet, keeping a journal of experiences and writing a summary paper.

    6 credits; S/CR/NC; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2022 · Greg Marfleet, Aaron Swoboda
  • POSC 300: Political Research Experience

    This course is a collaborative, hands-on, research seminar related to a faculty member’s research program. Students should expect to meet regularly with the faculty supervisor and, depending on the stage or type of research, collect and analyze data, read and interpret primary literature and engage its criticism, submit written material and prepare presentation content. To enroll, students must complete the application form (available on line or in the department office) in consultation with the professor. 

    Prerequisites: Instructor Permission 1 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Barbara Allen, Greg Marfleet, Tun Myint, Huan Gao
  • POSC 306: Identity Politics and Group Behavior in America*

    In recent years we have heard a lot about “identity politics.” This course aims to answer the question, why do people form group-based identities and how do they impact mass political attitudes and behavior? Using examples from American politics, we will examine the psychological underpinnings of identity and group-based affiliations as well as their political consequences. In doing so, we will explore how bias, prejudice, and social hierarchy are formed, maintained, and changed. Such evaluations will be based on discussions of various dominant and minority group identities including partisanship, race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and place. Students will learn how and where the United States has progressed in promoting group equality and fairness and where it has not or has even moved backwards. Students end the course with a deeper understanding of the core American paradox of the persistence of group hierarchy in a country dedicated to democracy, equality, and liberty and what people can do to resolve that paradox.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Brian Harrison
  • POSC 308: Global Gender Politics*

    How have gendered divisions of power, labor, and resources contributed to the global crises of violence, sustainability, and inequity? Where and why has the pursuit of gender justice elicited intense backlash, especially within the last two decades? In this course, we will explore the global consequences of gender inequality and the ongoing pursuit of gender justice both transnationally and in different regions of the world. We will investigate a variety of cases ranging from land rights movements in East Africa, to the international movement to ban nuclear weapons. Finally, we will pay special attention to how hard-won gains in women’s rights and other related inequalities in world affairs are being jeopardized by new and old authoritarianisms.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Summer Forester
  • POSC 350: Kings, Tyrants, Philosophers: Plato’s Republic*

    Cross-listed with Political Science 250. In this course we will read Plato’s Republic, perhaps the greatest and surely the most important work of political philosophy ever written. What are the deepest needs and the most powerful longings of human nature? Can they be fulfilled, and, if so, how? What are the deepest needs of society, and can they be fulfilled? What is the relation between individual happiness and societal well-being? Are they compatible or in conflict with one another? And where they are in conflict, what does justice require that we do? The Republic explores these questions in an imaginative and unforgettable way.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Winter 2022 · Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 372: Mansions and Shantytowns: Politics of the Spaces We Live In*

    This course explores theories about spaces/places and investigates the impact of our physical environment on a broad range of social and political issues. We will look at how parks, monuments, residential communities, and other features of our cities and towns are made, who makes them, and in turn, their effects on our daily lives. Students will engage with important contemporary issues such as residential segregation, public space management, protest policing, etc. Most of the course will focus on urban politics, with a brief foray into rural issues. The goal of this course is to encourage students to think about everyday environmental features in a more systematic and theoretic manner and design social scientific inquiries into spatial issues.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2022 · Huan Gao

Spring 2022

  • POSC 120: Democracy and Dictatorship

    An introduction to the array of different democratic and authoritarian political institutions in both developing and developed countries. We will also explore key issues in contemporary politics in countries around the world, such as nationalism and independence movements, revolution, regime change, state-making, and social movements. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Huan Gao, Juan Diego Prieto
  • POSC 122: Politics in America: Liberty and Equality

    An introduction to American government and politics. Focus on the Congress, Presidency, political parties and interest groups, the courts and the Constitution. Particular attention will be given to the public policy debates that divide liberals and conservatives and how these divisions are rooted in American political culture. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Richard Keiser, Christina Farhart, Brian Harrison
  • POSC 160: Political Philosophy

    Introduction to ancient and modern political philosophy. We will investigate several fundamentally different approaches to the basic questions of politics–questions concerning the character of political life, the possibilities and limits of politics, justice, and the good society–and the philosophic presuppositions (concerning human nature and human flourishing) that underlie these, and all, political questions. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp, Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 170: International Relations and World Politics

    What are the foundational theories and practices of international relations and world politics? This course addresses topics of a geopolitical, commercial and ideological character as they relate to global systems including: great power politics, polycentricity, and international organizations. It also explores the dynamic intersection of world politics with war, terrorism, nuclear weapons, national security, human security, human rights, and the globalization of economic and social development. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Summer Forester, Tun Myint
  • POSC 210: Misinformation, Political Rumors, and Conspiracy Theories

    Why do people believe in conspiracy theories, hold on to misinformed beliefs even in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary, and/or spread political and social rumors that may have little basis in fact? Who is most vulnerable to these various forms of misinformation? What are the normative and political consequences of misperceptions (if any)? This course explores the psychological, political, and philosophical approaches to the study of the causes, consequences, and tenacity of conspiracy beliefs, misinformation, and political rumors, as well as possible approaches that journalists could employ to combat misperceptions.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2022 · Christina Farhart
  • POSC 213: Psychology of Mass Political Behavior

    This course explores the political psychology of individual judgment and choice. We will examine the role of cognition, emotions, values, predispositions, and social identities on judgment and choice. From this approach, we will address the larger debate regarding the quality of democratic citizenship.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2022 · Kristin K. Lunz Trujillo
  • POSC 222: Political Science Lab: Interviewing Techniques

    This class provides a hands-on introduction to how researchers devise, conduct, and analyze interviews in political science. Students will learn about different types of interview methodologies, including elite and non-elite, structured, semi-structured, and intensive approaches. Over the course of the class, students will consider the types of questions most appropriately answered by interviews, the fundamentals of different sampling strategies, how to devise questionnaires, and how to use the information collected for both quantitative and qualitative analysis. We will also cover interview ethics, how to employ culturally sensitive techniques, and how to employ interviews in individual, group, and crowd situations.

    3 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2022 · Dev Gupta
  • POSC 230: Methods of Political Research

    An introduction to research method, research design, and the analysis of political data. The course is intended to introduce students to the fundamentals of scientific inquiry as they are employed in the discipline. The course will consider the philosophy of scientific research generally, the philosophy of social science research, theory building and theory testing, the components of applied (quantitative and qualitative) research across the major sub-fields of political science, and basic methodological tools. Intended for majors only. Prerequisites: Statistics 120, 230, 250, (formerly Mathematics 215, 245, 275), AP Statistics (score of 4 or 5) or Psychology 200/201 or Sociology/Anthropology 239 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Christina Farhart, Greg Marfleet
  • POSC 244: The Politics of Eurovision

    At first glance, Eurovision, the decades-long, continent-wide singing contest, is nothing more than a mindless pop culture event. Dismissed as a celebration of (at best) mediocre music, Eurovision seems like it would be the last place to learn about serious politics. In this class, however, we will explore Eurovision as a place where art is deeply political and often engages in debates about gender and sexuality, race, the legacies of colonialism, war and revolution, nationalism, and democracy—not just within the context of the competition itself but how these discussions spill over into broader social and political dynamics.

    3 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2022 · Dev Gupta
  • POSC 256: Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil

    Nietzsche understood himself to be living at a moment of great endings: the exhaustion of modernity, the self-undermining of rationalism, the self-overcoming of morality–in short, stunningly, the “death of God.” He regarded these endings as an unprecedented disaster for humanity but also as an unprecedented opportunity, and he pointed the way to a new ideal and a new culture that would be life-affirming and life-enhancing. This course will center on close study of Beyond Good and Evil, perhaps Nietzsche’s most beautiful book and probably his most political one. Selections from some of his other books will also be assigned. 

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Spring 2022 · Laurence Cooper
  • POSC 279: Global Challenges and Civil Society Solutions

    Tocqueville once remarked“if men who live in democratic countries did not acquire the practice of associating with each other in ordinary life, civilization itself would be in peril.” Today, our lives are affected by a wide spectrum of these associations of ordinary life from the Catholic Church, to international NGOs like Greenpeace, to mundane neighborhood groups. This course investigates whether these organizations can help solve some of the most pressing global challenges like climate change, inequality, and epidemics. We will engage classic literature about civil society, study contemporary organizations and movements, and think critically about their political, social and economic impact.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2022 · Huan Gao
  • POSC 300: Political Research Experience

    This course is a collaborative, hands-on, research seminar related to a faculty member’s research program. Students should expect to meet regularly with the faculty supervisor and, depending on the stage or type of research, collect and analyze data, read and interpret primary literature and engage its criticism, submit written material and prepare presentation content. To enroll, students must complete the application form (available on line or in the department office) in consultation with the professor. 

    Prerequisites: Instructor Permission 1 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022 · Barbara Allen, Greg Marfleet, Tun Myint, Huan Gao
  • POSC 302: Subordinated Politics and Intergroup Relations*

    How do social and political groups interact? How do we understand these interactions in relation to power? This course will introduce the basic approaches and debates in the study of prejudice, racial attitudes, and intergroup relations. We will focus on three main questions. First, how do we understand and study prejudice and racism as they relate to U.S. politics? Second, how do group identities, stereotyping, and other factors help us understand the legitimation of discrimination, group hierarchy, and social domination? Third, what are the political and social challenges associated with reducing prejudice?

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2022 · Christina Farhart
  • POSC 329: Reinventing Humanism: A Dialogue with Tzvetan Todorov

    Humanism is today severely criticized for reducing humanity to Western culture and history and for its aggressive control and destruction of the non-human. Concomitantly, the history of the twentieth century reveals a growing totalitarian and anti-humanistic tendency in (post)modern societies and their politics, to replace individual agency, freedom, and responsibility with systemic solutions. The course explores, through a dialogue with the work of the French thinker, Tzvetan Todorov, how being human could be reinvented today in ways that avoid the moral and political pitfalls of the previous humanistic tradition, without devaluing, in the process, the idea of a shared humanity.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Spring 2022 · Mihaela Czobor-Lupp
  • POSC 330: The Complexity of Politics*

    Theories of complexity and emergence relate to how large-scale collective properties and characteristics of a system can arise from the behavior and attributes of component parts. This course explores the relevance of these concepts, studied mainly in physics and biology, for the social sciences. Students will explore agent-based modeling to discover emergent properties of social systems through computer simulations they create using NetLogo software. Reading and seminar discussion topics include conflict and cooperation, electoral competition, transmission of culture and social networks. Completion of the stats/methods sequence is highly recommended. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2022 · Greg Marfleet
  • POSC 333: Global Social Changes and Sustainability*

    This course is about the relationship between social changes and ecological changes to understand and to be able to advance analytical concepts, research methods, and theories of society-nature interactions. How do livelihoods of individuals and groups change over time and how do the changes affect ecological sustainability? What are the roles of human institutions in ecological sustainability? What are the roles of ecosystem dynamics in institutional sustainability? Students will learn fundamental theories and concepts that explain linkages between social change and environmental changes and gain methods and skills to measure social changes qualitatively and quantitatively. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Spring 2022 · Tun Myint
  • POSC 339: LGBTQ Politics in America

    The advancement of LGBTQ rights in the United States has experienced unprecedented success over the last twenty years, shifting public attitudes and legal protections for LGBTQ Americans. This course provides a discussion of LGBTQ history and in-depth analysis of how LGBTQ policy victories were achieved, including background on the strategies and tactics used to generate results. We will take a critical look at such milestones and examine what they mean for the entire LGBTQ population, including queer people of color, transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, the disabled, and the economically disadvantaged.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2022 · Brian Harrison
  • POSC 361: Approaches to Development*

    The meaning of “development” has been contested across multiple disciplines. The development and continual existence of past civilizations has been at the core of the discourse among those who study factors leading to the rise and fall of civilizations. Can we reconcile the meaning of development in economic terms with cultural, ecological, political, religious, social and spiritual terms? How can we measure it quantitatively? What and how do the UNDP Human Development Indexes and the World Development Reports measure? What are the exemplary cases that illustrate development? How do individual choices and patterns of livelihood activities link to development trends? 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Spring 2022 · Tun Myint
  • POSC 367: Social Welfare in a Time of Crisis*

    During COVID-19, many countries adopted new cash transfers, wage subsidies, and basic income experiments, among other innovative social policies, prompting major debates on the need to transform existing social protection systems. We will examine the origins and evolution of formal welfare institutions in the global north and south, with an intersectional focus on their consequences for diverse groups. We will also explore how non-state actors contribute to the construction and maintenance of social safety nets around the world. Based on these insights, we will consider how states, markets, families, and communities may shape the future of welfare states.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Spring 2022 · Juan Diego Prieto